The Brand Equation for an A-List Salon
If I asked you, “What is the “Your Salon Way,” how would you respond? You have to decide how you want to distinguish your business from the other beauty and personal care businesses in your area. Are you a visionary type that can create your own new cutting, coloring, or extension technique? Or are you working to create a unique customer service experience, with special hours or front-desk greetings? Do you want to be known as an overall image consultant for your clients? Defining your brand in this way will help you stand out.
The truth is that many salons struggle to clearly articulate their brand in a way that truly distinguishes them. “Doing good hair” will not make your staff or salon remarkable. Clients expect a baseline of technical competence when they come to a professional salon. Running a traditional salon that has the predictable service menu and amenities will not have guests raving. Your goal is to produce a personal grooming experience that clients are willing to pay a premium for over and over again.
And, once you have locked in on what makes your salon or barber shop special, you need to make sure that your clients experience this “Your Salon Way” every single time. This means not just when you are there. Or when someone is NOT working that day. But every time. If not, your clients may think that the positive experience is just a fluke.
Remember, your salon brand is a function of: 1) You, the owner, 2) Your staff, and 3) Your salon amenities (If you hate math, I am sorry but I always love an equation. It is the former math geek in me). If you compromise in any area, you run the risk of damaging your brand in the eyes of your current and potential clients.
Here is a little more about what I mean.
As an owner, it is up to you to continue to educate yourself to run a better business no matter how long you have been an owner. Get complacent at your own risk. There will always be new resources available to help you increase sales and minimize your costs. You are either growing or falling behind.
Your staff, including your front desk, assistants, and stylists, can make or break the salon experience of your clients. No matter how fabulous you are, your brand is larger than you if you have staff. The longer you settle to employ people that pose more harm than good to your retention rate, the slower you will be able to turn the corner with your business. Invest in the development of your people so that they can live up to your vision.
Clients differ on what they value in salon amenities. Not everyone needs to serve wine by the shampoo bowl but it is important that your amenities match your brand mantra. One memorable quote from a salon client sums it up best, “Don’t expect me to pay top dollar prices if they don’t even have the decency to use clean towels.” When you start to procrastinate about completing improvement projects or replacing equipment, remember the image you would like to convey.
The Final Scoop: Take time to clearly define your salon brand in a way that your clients and staff understand. Once you are clear on your vision for Your Salon Way, make sure your entire team is diligent about living this brand every day.